Fulbright Scholarship Will Send Cornelius to Nepal, Bangladesh
Barbara Cornelius, Head of Library Technology and Associate Professor of Library Science, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in Nepal and Bangladesh.
Cornelius will leave next fall to spend several months at academic libraries in both countries where she will research Open-Source software-based user services.
Although Open-Source software is free to use, it is not without costs. Library practices in more traditional countries might affect the success of services that are based on this kind of software.
“Compared to the U.S., the university library atmosphere is quite different in South Asia,” said Cornelius.
In Nepal, for example, library services are more conservative and hierarchical. In addition, the country is challenged by frequent electrical outages, as well as ongoing political instability.
“Open Source software requires a committed local support community,” said Cornelius. “While India is moving ahead in library technology, there is a possibility that smaller South Asian countries may not be able to keep up.”
Staff skills for maintaining and using Open Source library systems successfully may be rather limited, she said.
Her experience in Kolkata, India, last year and her ongoing research led to a strong Fulbright Scholarship application. Approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals are selected for the award each year.
Cornelius is the second NWU professor to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in the past two years. History professor Megan Winchell spent the 2011-2012 academic year teaching in Estonia.
Earlier this year NWU English professor Gerise Herndon was awarded a Fulbright Specialists Grant to teach in India. Herndon will spend six weeks next fall at Banaras Hindu University where she will teach feminist theory, multiculturalism, and identity politics.